Committee members present were chairman David Hepler, Robert Farmer,
Rick Aylesworth, Gene Rohlfs and Chuck Ruben.
The committee discussed an important aspect in joining a CEDS
region: How much money will the county have to pay to be a part of
At the previous meeting of the committee, the members present
were told that the county would have to pay somewhere between
$15,000 and $18,000 over the course of three years. Spread out over
that time frame, the county would be paying between $5,000 and
$6,000 a year.
Gene Rohlfs said this conflicted with figures that have been
given to the county board in previous years. He cited meeting
minutes from discussions in 2011, during which the figures indicated
a payment of $7,500 to $10,000 each year.
The lack of a solid answer on how much would need to be paid gave
Rohlfs reason to be concerned, and he equated the process to a game
of chance. "We need to decide how much we are willing to gamble," he
said. He also expressed concern that the total amount that would
have to be paid might be higher than the figures would indicate.
Chuck Ruben responded to Rohlfs, saying that those earlier
figures were given at a time when the committee in the region where
the county would be joining a CEDS was going through a bit of
Ruben also said that the county would not be the only entity
paying to be part of the district. A special fund would need to be
established, in which the county would add $5,000 and the city of
Lincoln would add $5,000 per year.
On a third note concerning CEDS, Robert Farmer added that through
the district, the county can apply for grants and funding for a
greater variety of projects than through other organizations.
The whole board is expected to discuss the matter further and
vote later this month on the resolution to join the CEDS.
[to top of second column]
Ruben, who has been attending city of Lincoln meetings concerning
a TIF district, provided the committee members with a brief
explanation of how it is expected to function.
Logan County has two other TIF districts, one in Mount Pulaski
and one in Elkhart.
First, Ruben answered a question as to whether or not a business
could be in both the TIF district and the enterprise zone. Ruben
said no, adding that there are three businesses in the proposed TIF
district that would have to make a choice as to which region they
would be a part of.
The TIF district would go into effect for a 23-year period.
During that time, a maximum would be set on property tax that could
be collected from the area. Should there be an excess (meaning a
property has a higher value than the maximum would allow for), the
excess would be placed in a fund before it was collected by the city
or the county.
The special fund would then be used to improve the properties
within the TIF district. Theoretically, this would result in
increased property values, which would in turn increase the amount
in the TIF district, and the cycle would repeat.
Ruben told the committee that the city expects to raise around $6
million in this manner.
The flip side to the city of Lincoln establishing a TIF district
is a loss in property taxes to the county. If the amount of tax
money above the maximum is removed before the county can take its
share, there is a loss of potential tax dollars.
Ruben told the committee that such a loss, in his opinion, would
not be large enough to not support the city's TIF district.
[By DEREK HURLEY]
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